The International Women’s Peace Service stands in solidarity with Bilal Kayed, and over 100 of his fellow prisoners in Israeli military prisons, in their hunger strike against the abusive and illegal practice of administrative detention.
Deir Istiya continues to face restrictions on movement, and access to agricultural roads. Today, villagers reported continued construction on the settler road that surrounds the village, and the introduction of a flying checkpoint at the village entrance.
Qarawah Bani Hassan, Sarta and Biddya, with a combined population of approximately 30,000 people, depend on one 8 inch pipe, designed to deliver 145 cubic meters of water per hour. During the winter months when water tables are higher, the water flows at full capacity, ensuring coverage to the entire network. However for the past two months, the amount has been restricted to between 50 and 70 cubic meters per hour. With such a small amount in the pipes, the pressure is too low for the water to reach many of the houses at the end of the system. Qarawah, which sits at the highest elevation out of the three villages, suffers the most from the low water pressure: no house in the village has received water in over a week. The most remote properties have gone dry for over a month.
“Ramadan Tov” read the posters, held by supporters of the Palestinian internal boycott, about forty of whom had gathered for a demonstration in the West Bank town of Salfit. The poster featured a picture of an Israeli soldier, in full combat gear, holding out a tray filled with household goods: Ein Gedi bottled water, Tnuva yogurt, Tapuzina juice. The use of the word “Tov”, Hebrew for “happy”, underscored the meaning of the posters: if you buy food for Ramadan from Israeli companies, the profits would go back into Israeli society, and tax coffers, and eventually benefit the occupying army.
An IWPS team is back on the ground in Deir Istiya. The jasmine trees are blooming, and the grapes are almost ready to eat! However not all is well. On our first night back, Rizziq abu Nasser, a local poet, activist, and friend of the IWPS laid out the three biggest challenges in Deir Istiya today.